Next Things

Next Things April 18, 2010

Asa natural follow up to our recent journey through the book of Luke, today webegin a 2-week mini-series on outreach. Both sermons will come from guestspeakers who are experienced practitioners of the truths they will share. Wehave asked Dan Faulkner, the director of Camp Elim, to address the subject oflocal outreach, equipping us with ideas for how to be witnesses right here inour own city and state. Next week Kent Parks, the CEO of Mission to UnreachedPeoples, will challenge us on the subject of international outreach.

Whyall this emphasis on outreach? Because our study through Luke will abort if itdoesn’t produce witnesses. Jesus didn’t just live, die, and rise again. He alsotrained a band of followers to carry on His mission and spread His message:

Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it iswritten, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from thedead, and that repentanceand forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations,beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you.” Luke24:45-49a

Notice the steps: 1) He helped them understand the Scriptures,particularly the central theme of the Messiah’s death and resurrection. 2) Hechallenged them with God’s plan to spread the message of repentance andforgiveness everywhere. 3) He reminded them of their identity as eye-witnesses.4) He sent the Holy Spirit to empower them for their mission.

It’s the same for us: an enhanced understandingof the Scriptures is intended to produce a new awareness of God’s plan, a freshrecognition of our part in it, and a greater dependence on the Spirit.